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Sales; a never ending grind toward incredible payouts and recognition.

As leaders, we have different motivators, but same goal – EXCEED quota, if not just GET to quota.

How do we achieve this? Sure there are great strategies for direct sales efforts, but what about indirect sales efforts like partner programs?

Successful companies, from Fortune 500 to startups, leverage the acceleration of a channel or partner program to amplify and accelerate growth by using other established networks at their disposal.

Maybe you have a partner program already or are interested in creating one. Either way, these seven must-haves will provide a strategic framework to re-vamp, re-launch, or re-build your channel partner program.

1) Aligned Platform – Aligned Experience

Whether you are an established organization or a startup, you know that your customer experience is largely influenced by alignment in collaboration, messaging, content, and tools. When working with partners, this sentiment should be no different. Your cross-team collaboration, messaging, content and tools should be aligned as well.

Using an intelligent partner PRM software provides your partners with the experience they crave and the results you need.

2) Cross-Device Responsiveness

Partners can be local and international. Regardless they likely will be remote. Providing them with access to emails, websites, and content via smartphones is crucial to the success and measurement of your program.

The best platforms are accessible anywhere, anytime, regardless of location. To build your channel partner program towards success, it is imperative to have the sales tools and contacts in the palm of your hand, always.

3) Effective Training

Training and development aren’t just an event; it is a continuous journey towards building a stronger channel partner program. These days more companies are increasing remote-based roles. Thus training needs to be adaptable. Finding innovative ways to deliver the vast amount of collateral in your SharePoint, desktops, or drives to a centralized portal for your partners are critical.

Remember idle content is ineffective content.  

4) Dynamic Content

Enable your partners to sell more effectively and efficiently with personalized content that fits your brand voice and speaks to your audience’s needs. Content should not only be engaging, but should also be easy to create, share, and rank.

The best platforms allow for such content creation and gamification.

5) Intuitive Interface

Keep in mind that often your partners are selling for other vendors including potential competitors. The more intuitive, engaging, and rewarding your interface increases your odds of being top of mind.

Nutshell: if a system is hard to use – it hardly gets used.

6) Defined Communications

When your organization is not aligned with your channel, conflict is inevitable. Clear communication management tools enable effective collaboration between all parties, a necessary component of building your channel partner program.

Smart collaboration minimizes confusion and accelerates the sales process.

7) Integrated Business Analytics

Gain insight from your data to make operational and fiduciary decisions. The best partner programs enable organizations to gain both granular and high-level awareness. Such data can provide greater business unit agility, reduction in customer acquisition costs, accelerates the sales cycle, and sets up your program for success.

Business analytics best provide measurements when properly integrated with your CRM, marketing automation platform, and third-party apps into a centralized knowledge hub.

What is the goal of partner programs after all? To build your channel partner program through informed decisions, strong communication, and a platform that enables scalability.